Strength Training Exercise For Body and Brain Health


It is a sad fact that 8 out of 10 adults do not do enough proper exercise. This means their muscles do not get worked anywhere near enough to keep vital “growth and repair” hormones stimulated and flowing. The growth hormones are the ones that keep body and brain healthy, well and youthful regardless of age.

The issue lies with the fact that most people are simply not aware that it is healthy toned muscle tissue that serves as body’s armour and defence system against killer diseases and illness and a human body without enough muscle building and maintaining activity can lose up to 50 percent of muscle mass by the age of 70 years.

Sadly the low energy expenditure caused by our increasingly less active lifestyles negatively changes our body composition which not only saps our strength and energy; it also lowers our metabolism (the body’s engine) accelerates the aging process and pushes the body towards premature and preventable disease.


Unused joints and tendons lose strength and get damaged easier. An unused heart becomes scrawny and weak and cannot pump effectively. Lung capacity diminishes, and the red blood cell count declines if oxygen demand is low.

Physical inactivity adversely affects the function of the muscles, bones, brain, heart, blood vessels, liver, the immune system and every other organ and system in the human body.

This is a very high to pay for not getting enough proper exercise don’t you think?

Furthermore, an inactive person is more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, find stress harder to manage, and lose self-confidence and self-esteem. Not being active affects the body right down to the cellular level where the ability to transfer oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream to cells is diminished. And if you can’t get enough oxygen out of your blood the quality of your entire life is affected and your body attracts disease rather than repels it.

To compound these issues, without enough proper activity, dangerous fat builds up inside our bodies when fat burning enzymes cannot do their job properly when blood circulation is slowed down in a low energy environment.

This fat wraps itself around major organs and releases toxic chemicals in the most susceptible part of the human body –the abdomen where all of our working “machinery” is located. You can be at normal body weight and have this harmful fat deep inside your body and you will not even know that you have it. But if you do not do enough physical activity you will likely have it and it sets the stage for massive health risks.


This is where proper exercise comes in as studies continually show that regular strength training exercise provides long-term brain health and immune protection, it causes adaptations that allow the body to withstand training stress and recover from it more efficiently.

It’s such a simple concept… activity that works our muscular system forces our body and brain to grow while sitting around and living a no-exercise lifestyle encourages the body and brain to decay. You must keep reminding your body and brain over and over that its strength and efficiency is needed right throughout adult life. And you do that through proper exercise.


Its already well known that leading a sedentary life is detrimental to longterm health and puts a person at higher risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer or any one of dozens of other “lifestyle” related conditions.

But research shows that spending more time on the couch and less time being active is also a fast-track to cognitive decline. It turns out lack of enough proper exercise leads to a decrease in brain size.

Dementia is at epidemic disease proportions – affecting one in eight people aged 65 and over who are living with the disease. In the next 20 years, it is estimated that dementia will affect one in four rivalling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes. How scary is that?

Since there is no accepted cure for these brain diseases, prevention is the way to go and is actually easier than you might think. There’s exceptionally compelling research showing that the brain has great plasticity, which can be controlled through diet and lifestyle choices. It’s a simple concept…

Scientists have linked physical exercise to brain health for many years. In fact, there’s compelling evidence that physical exercise helps build a brain that not only resists shrinkage, but increases cognitive abilities by promoting neurogenesis, i.e. your brain’s ability to adapt and grow new brain cells.

In essence, physical activity produces biochemical changes that strengthen and renew not only your body but also your brain – particularly areas associated with memory and learning. On the flip side, a sedentary lifestyle correlates to brain shrinkage, which increases your risk of memory loss and other cognitive problems.

Exercise helps protect and improve your brain function by improving and increasing blood flow to your brain; increasing production of nerve-protecting compounds; improving development and survival of neurons; and reducing damaging plaques in your brain. Over time, the cumulative effects help slow down the rate at which your brain ages.

When you challenge your muscles with challenging physical activity it increases blood flow to your brain elevating oxygen levels. This triggers bio-chemical (hormonal) changes that result in new neurons being formed that are then bathed and protected with a released nerve growth factor called brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF).

These conditions encourage your brain to grow and change by forming new neural pathways and synaptic connections. This process is known as neurogenesis or neuroplasticity. Despite the lack of any pharmaceutical\ development to enhance this process, you have direct control of your BDNF levels and thus the fate of your brain.

Incorporating Strength Training into Your Routine:

Types of Strength Training: Options include free weights, resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, and machines. Choose what suits your preferences and goals.

Setting Realistic Goals: Establish achievable targets, whether it’s increasing the weight you lift or the number of repetitions.

Safety Considerations: Proper form is crucial to avoid injury. Consider working with a fitness professional initially.

Sample Strength Training Routine: A well-rounded program includes exercises for all major muscle groups. A typical routine might consist of squats, deadlifts, push-ups, and planks.

So what are you waiting for? The only thing between the health of your body and your brain is your strength training routine.

If you truly want to take command of your life, turn back the clock and build your self confidence – 

“Healthy Self Healing” can help you do just that…

For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals please visit:

Carolyn Hansen Fitness

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